Salif Keïta

Latest Release

Artist Playlists

About Salif Keïta

The joy and beauty in Salif Keita’s voice feel even more transcendent in light of the challenges he faced, especially in his early life. Born in 1949 into one of Mali’s royal families, Keita was ostracized both for his albinism, which was regarded as a sign of bad luck, and for pursuing a career in music, a path forbidden to those of noble lineage. Mali’s political unrest in the mid-‘70s forced Keita to flee to the Ivory Coast and then to France. Paris became the singer’s base as he developed an international audience for his exhilarating fusions of West African rhythms and rock, pop, funk, and jazz. Keita’s first solo album after the breakup of his band, les ambassadeurs internationaux, 1987’s Soro is a showcase of his soaring vocals and adventurous sensibility. His roster of collaborators included guitar legend Carlos Santana, jazz great Wayne Shorter, and Philippe Cohen Solal, the Gotan Project member and producer who brought a modern, dance-oriented flair to Keita’s 2012 album, Talé. Keita continued to refine his distinctly global sound until his retirement from music in 2018.

Djoliba, Mali
August 25, 1949

Select a country or region

Africa, Middle East, and India

Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

The United States and Canada